Sunday, March 30, 2014

Of ancient Malawi’s Nyangu Bull Horns, Clay Pot and Virginity?

Dziwe la Nkhalamba photo taken by Menno Welling for a different story in 2010
It’s a new ancient Africa beginning as a young woman destined to be a powerful female prophetess and healer of Malawi known as Nyangu from the day she was born dreams of an elderly man in bright white tightly holding her firmly on his chest.
She’s facing the front and can clearly see his hands as he starts braiding her uncut hair into knots as she stares at an empty white throne in front of her.
The young woman in a vision then sees two prominent male figures in society kneeling before her and presenting various gifts.
Elders tell this healer that the dream means the ancient one of Malawi connected to Napolo has chosen a husband for her from the spiritual realm and his name is Mbona and that she will have power as a messenger of various oracles.
Braiding with extensions and knots but using the three pieces of hair
But she is not expected to make the same mistakes as the first Nyangu of ancient history who practiced magic (matsenga) and fell from grace because of witchcraft (ufiti) rituals.
Since then several women have been “wives” say Sapitwa healers who are happy the elderly man has appeared again in dreams after centuries of silence.
The elderly man in ancient times was associated with Dziwe la Nkhalamba (swimming pool for the elderly) in Mulanje where a white rock to the other world is believed to be hidden according to ancestors of this great land.
When a woman in general dreamed of an ancient Malawi elderly man with white hair braiding her hair in cornrows using three strands, it usually also symbolized her calling to healing and African prophecy in which the nsengwa small basket was used and her hair never cut in rituals.
Ironically the weaving pattern on the nsengwa basket resembles cornrows but this blog has yet to establish how such baskets are made.  Maybe those with funding can travel to various areas where they make these and brief this blog about the process.
Now the ancient nsengwa oracle basket was very different from the lichero winnowing one for sifting and the like which is associated with witchcraft in mythical tales of flying baskets told by many Malawians.
Nsengwa small decoration basket with cornrow pattern
These days the thought or mention of a wife for the Mbona spirit is met with insults and resistance as many Malawians these days call them evil but this is a part of this country’s ancient history which should not be deliberately erased.
Women as female priestesses and prophetesses in this ancient land of Malawi played a huge role in the nation’s long forgotten history.
This blog will try and document oral history about the first Nyangu because so far nothing shows up on Google except a small mention of Mbona’s “virgin mother” according to the book the River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi by Father J. Matthew Schoffeleers.

Now before that there were many other Nyangus including the first one who fell from grace according to Sapitwa healers.
This ancient woman nicknamed “Nyangu” is said to have never shown her hair since such “mizimu” (spirits) have hair that appears to move like snakes, maybe an African version of the Greek myth of Medusa?
She wore a headgear consisting of bull horns to symbolize anger, aggression and power and a red clay pot to symbolize a woman’s womb and creation as in the beginning of life.
African black bull not connected to this story taken from

The predominant colour of the soil across sub-Sararan Africa including Malawi is red but this blog needs to research on what the first Nyangu’s red clay pot was made from.
Sapitwa healers say in ancient Malawi, the chizimba energizing agent or charms for the bull horns was a crocodile (ng’ona) and that is what led to the downfall of the first Nyangu who exists in the spiritual realm they claim.
And it is because of the original  Nyangu that ancient priestesses of this land are believed to have not cut their hair because they saw power in it.  Of these spirits are the winged ones that have never been human and also have uncut hair.
Mozambique clay pot not connected to this article from
One such spirit is a female one with red eyes and very energetic and a wild dancer.  She likes showing her private parts and is very sensual claim some Malawian healers.
Perhaps this is where the teaching of three female winged spirits of a negative charge working together with four winged male winged spirits of a positive charge to create light or lightning came from.
Ancient African priests and priestesses played with the numbers three, four and seven in ancient rain shrines and in the way they viewed cornrow braids, weaving, rivers, rainfall and lightning among other things in nature they proudly attributed to Chauta, Mphambe, Namalenga (God) as the Creator of all.
To date, Egypt unlike Malawi fully maintains its history of Osiris, Isis and Horus or Ausar, Aset and Heru regardless of religious or cultural beliefs.  Many sites online testify this.
Isis  or Aset is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic.

“She was the friend of slavessinnersartisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers.

“Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the hawk-headed god of war and protection (although in some traditions Horus’s mother was Hathor). Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

“The name Isis means “Throne”. Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided,” partly reads
Ancient Egypt’s with cow horns, sun disk and knot drawing taken from the Interne

According to, tyet is an ancient Egyptian symbol of the goddess Isis and is also known as the “Knot of Isis because it resembles a knot used to secure the garments that the Egyptian gods wore (also tet, buckle of Isis, girdle of Isis, and the blood of Isis).”

“The meaning of “the Blood of Isis” is more obscure, but it was often used as a funerary amulet made of a red stone or of glass. It is also speculated that the Tyet represents the menstrual blood flow from Isis’ womb and its magical properties.
And in ancient Egypt the bull was a symbol of fertility, renewal, sexual virility, and brute strength or power, which is why ancient Egyptian kings were particularly associated with the virile male species of the animal.
 It is also said that the oldest known image of hair braiding was traced back to a burial site called Saqqara located on the Nile River during the first dynasty of Pharaoh Menes.

A braid (also called plait) is a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibres, wire, or hair. Compared to the process of weaving a wide sheet of cloth from two separate, perpendicular groups of strands (warp and weft), a braid is usually long and narrow, with each component strand functionally equivalent in zigzagging forward through the overlapping mass of the others.

“The simplest possible braid is a flat, solid, three-strand structure in some countries/cases called a plait. More complex braids can be constructed from an arbitrary (but usually odd) number of strands to create a wider range of structures: wider ribbon-like bands, hollow or solid cylindrical cords, or broad mats which resemble a rudimentary perpendicular weave,” also reads the online Wikipedia.
Tyet, Knot of Isis taken from the Internet

Flat braids made of many copper wires are also sometimes used for flexible electrical connections between large components. The numerous smaller wires comprising the braid are much more resistant to breaking under repeated motion and vibration than is a cable of larger wires. A common example of this may be found connecting a car battery’s negative terminal to the metal chassis further reads the Wikipedia.
And braiding is said to happen when a river is carrying vast amounts of eroded sediment. Sediment is deposited as islands in the channel causing the river to split up into many winding channels.
“In some river and stream systems, small streams join together and redivide in many places. Such stream systems are said to be braided. These are often found in alluvial fans at the outlet of canyons.
The braided streams of the Tanana River

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Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star. this space.